In this post, I will share a few tips on how to celebrate Christmas sustainably. I am publishing this after Christmas so that I can share what works and what did not.
1. GET A SUSTAINABLE CHRISTMAS TREE
Let’s start with the Christmas tree. We did not want to get a cut tree because it feels like wasting precious resources. Trees turn CO2 into oxygen thus help reduce the speed with which the atmosphere is warming up. Cutting them down and exposing them for a few weeks at our home did not feel right.
It was quite easy to find a Swiss company that “lends” Christmas trees for the holidays, but it came with a price. On their online platform, you can select the size of the Christmas tree and the type of pot. You can rent Christmas tree decorations too. We got a tree of 110 centimeters in height (approx. 43 inches) for 125 CHF (141$USD). The delivery and pick up is included in the price.
It is more expensive than fresh-cut trees available in front of a grocery store. But knowing that your Christmas tree will go back to its natural environment made us feel better.
Although I like the idea and the tree was beautiful, it was far from affordable. In order to persuade more people to make this choice, this service must be more affordable. Otherwise one can get a fake Christmas tree which can be reused for many years. But since it is made of petrol, I am still not a big fan.
2. GIVE FUROSHIKI A TRY – SUSTAINABLE GIFT WRAPPING
One of the ways to celebrate Christmas sustainably is to use a piece of fabric to wrap your gifts instead of a single-use wrapping paper. Furoshiki became popular lately, thus it is easy to find square-shaped pieces of cloths of different sizes and prints on Etsy. Lush has some lovely “knot wraps” all year round as well.
Since I inherited a sewing machine from my mother-in-law, I plan to make my own Furoshiki wrapping cloths. My idea is to buy two meters of silk fabric, and cut it into squares of different sizes.
This is my plan for Christmas 2021 but since I found a lot of paper wrapping paper at home (from last year), I decided to make a compromise. Instead of throwing the wrapping paper away, I used it for the kids and the fabric wrap for the adults.
We try to follow the reuse, reduce, recycle zero-waste motto as much as possible, but one also has to be realistic. Being sustainable is about using what you already have instead of being wasteful.
3. HOMEMADE CHRISTMAS SWEETS
How else to celebrate Christmas sustainably than with homemade cookies? It may require some planning and time but if you have children, it is a great way to engage their creativity.
Women in my family traditionally bake at least ten types of different Christmas sweets. I made eight – which was the maximum I could do considering I had to work.
The most popular sweets were: coconut sweets, butter cookies, and cream-filled sweets.
4. CHRISTMAS BRUNCH @ HOME
Christmas brunch with friends is one of our traditions. And since we could not go out last year (all the restaurants were closed due to COVID-19), we had brunch at home. We were allowed to have up to ten people at home and we were five (including Chloe-Sofia).
How to make a Christmas brunch more sustainable? Buy eggs, milk, cheese, fruits, and veggies at the local farm, bread, and croissants at the bakery, and ham from your local butcher. Our friends got black truffle from a small Italian producer which made plain, scrambled eggs taste more exclusive.
5. CHRISTMAS DYI WITH KIDS
This year we did just a few Christmas DIYs such as these salted dough advent wreaths. Making ornaments and decorations from salted dough is a great activity for children. It is like playdough but natural and lasts longer. And you can also paint it with watercolors.
How was your 2020 Christmas?
I hope you spent it in peace, health, and those who are close to your heart. I don’t want to say “with the loved ones” because I know that many people could not spend the holidays with their loved ones.